Brooks Falls -
Katmai National Park, Alaska
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some bears, as a result of their interaction
with human kind, can become very skillful at finding and eating
human food. They may develop into "problem bears", as referred
to by authorities and lay people alike. Which often may lead to
punitive action by authorities including relocation & occasionally
and unfortunately the bears ultimate demise.
"A fed bear
is a dead bear".
Here is some basic information, on proper
back country bear (Make that human) etiquette.
Backpacked hundreds of trail miles in the Sierras, and large portions
of the Yosemite back country.
best information I have found, through my extensive research and
practical wilderness experience including several, face to face,
first hand encounters, suggests that most bears (Specifically
Black Bears) are mainly hungry opportunists, just looking for
a few "easy" calories to sustain them through their long winter
Pay particular attention if you may be in an area
where Brown Bears or Polar Bears may be found, as
these species are known to present a higher risk of danger
Remember that bears represent the top of the local
food chain, including HUMANS. It's their home; you're visiting.
I hope the following tips help you behave like a proper guest.
The best rule of thumb is
" KEEP YOUR DISTANCE"
and they will reciprocate.
Proper food storage is essential.
Do plan ahead obtain and carry "Bear Spray" learn the proper way to use it!
Do read your wilderness permits
about local conditions.
Do use only approved methods
of food storage.
Do some homework on proper
food storage techniques. & buy or rent a bear
can if backpacking.
Do store your garbage &
toilet items with your food in separate containers and use an
approved method of storage Ie. a bear can.
Do use "bear boxes" in camp sites or
"cans" when in the backcountry or while camping in the widerness (Now required in Yosemite.)
or try the cables/poles available in the more popular wilderness camping sites.
Do follow the written instructions
in your Wilderness Permit and information package for proper
storage techniques. When
obtaining your wilderness permits,
ask local authorities what the requirements are in the areas
you'll be seeing.
Do speak to the local rangers
about bear activity in the area you plan to visit. These people
have the information you need, listen carefully and follow their
Do where ever possible prepare
all meals well away from your camps sleeping area, at least
to the local rangers first & where
permitted, carry pepper spray if they
advise you. Information on pepper
Short answer: No. There is no evidence to suggest that bears are attracted to menstruating women. Many moons ago, on August 13, 1967, two women were attacked in Glacier National Park by grizzlies and there was speculation about menstruation being the cause. Many subsequent studies confirmed that there is no link. Bottom line: Bears are much more attracted to the smell of your peanut butter and chicken a la king, than your period.
Don't try to
get a "closer look" by approaching a bear.
Never try to
corner a bear for any reason.
to feed a wild bear. (Or any wild animals). Remember a fed
bear is a dead bear!
Never leave your
food unattended or stored improperly, for even the briefest
of times, (i.e. your backpack or food sack).
Don't and don't leave
excess food in your vehicle. Prepare
any food, or leave any garbage or items with strong odors, (i.e.
toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, fishing tackle, bait etc.)
in or around your campsite.
Don't keep snacks
in your tent, even gum.
particularly in Yosemite, use the food lockers provided &
never store food in your vehicle. If you must leave food
in your vehicle put it in the trunk or cover it. Generally out
of sight is out of mind. (Some areas even this won't be sufficient)
Keep a cool head at all times
there are 2 or more of you, stand close together to appear
loud noises, such as shouting "No Bear" or clanging Pots and Pans together.
a good supply of rocks handy in camp.
(Near your tent door at night).
your food stores. It only encourages bears to pilfer if you
rocks near the bears. Do not try to hit or hurt the bears!
any bear encounters to the proper authorities. (I.e. park/forest
ranger, game warden etc.).
Don't try to get a "closer look" by approaching a bear. Particularly
if attempting a photo opportunity.(Use
a zoom lens.)
turn your back or run. (You'll look like food)!
try to recover your food from a bear once they have gotten
Again try to
keep a cool head at all times.
Yell for help,
it may be closer than you think.
in a group stand close together to apear as large and
imposing as possible.
ground some bears may try a "Bluff Charge".
bear continues to approach this is a good time to throw
a good sized rock or stick toward the bear.
Lastly only as a last resort, stop
drop and cover your neck just like the civil defense drill
you learned in school.
Most of your
vitals are easier to get to from the front so stay on your
stomach. Roll back to your stomach if the bear turns you over
and lie flat. If you have a backpack on that can help protect
If the bear
persists, and only as a last resort, resist
with all your might. Try
to grab a stick or a rock, a knife or whatever you have, and
fight for your life. Your survival could depend on your fiercenes.
links to learn more
about bears & behavior.
“As marginal farmlands have been abandoned, black bears have moved back into those habitats,” says Stephen Herrero, a leading bear researcher at the University of Calgary and author of the required-reading Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance. Read More...
The Best By Far
Bear Information Site Around click here!